Build capacity to support new kinds of learning
Topic Authors: Helen Beetham and Ellen Lessner
In this theme you will explore how you support the development of teaching and professional staff, and how the organisation develops learners’ own digital skills as resources for learning.
However you see your organisation thriving as a digital organisation, that vision can only be delivered by skilled staff. Digital skills must not be left to specialists, although digital enthusiasts and experts are hugely valuable to the organisation. Skills need to be integrated into the day-to-day professional practice of all staff, whatever their subject area or role.
Student-facing staff need to understand how digital technologies can support day-to-day learning habits as well as subject-specific practices. Teaching staff need to keep up to date with new approaches in the classroom and new ways of using technology to support and record learning, wherever it takes place. Staff with responsibility for the IT environment need to be aware of how it is being used for teaching and learning, and to appreciate the value of innovation and specialisation as well as safety and standardisation.
Learners themselves bring many skills and experiences from their use of digital technologies. Some of these may need to be adapted and progressed if they are to support the independent learning demanded of them at FE level. But in other ways - such as their use of digital media (images, video, animations and apps) and their habits of sharing and collaborating online - learners have much to show us. Learners also expect to leave with skills for employability. Digital skills, evidence of digital outcomes, and an e-portfolio to show what they have learned, are all vital to what the FE and skills experience can offer.